The Islands of the Bahamas was one of the only destinations exclusively featured at the recent Miami International Boat Show, held February 16-20, at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin in Miami, Florida.
Now in its 77th year, the five day event which attracted some 100,000 persons, featured 2,000 professional exhibitors showcasing more than 3,000 boat types under tent and on sea, ranging from cruise liners, sports fishing yachts, personal water craft, custom boats, dinghies, sail, pedal, wooden and power boats, to docking tools, marine accessories, electronics, engines, navigational equipment, nautical gifts and apparel to business services for marines and boating industries.
On hand to display and discuss the various products of the Bahamas were representatives from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (BMOT) along with some of its leading hotel industry and marina partners, including Abaco Beach Resort, Schooner’s Bay, The Palm Cay Marine, Bimini Big Game, Old Bahama Bay, Valentines Resort & Marina, Green Turtle Cay Hotel, Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Treasure Cay Resort, Romora Bay Resort & Marina, Resorts World Bimini, Balearia Cruise Lines, and Grand Bahama Island Promotion Board.
“The Bahamas, which lies just 55 nautical miles off the coast of Florida is a mecca for boaters. There is a high level of interest in boating flings to our islands,” said Richard Treco, Sr. Manager at the BMOT, responsible for vertical markets and boating.
“The Miami Boat Show is the largest boat show in Florida and is an interactive show dedicated to connecting together brokers, sellers and buyers in the boating business. Participating in events such as this provides us with a one stop shop and opportunity for us to meet with partners who have current bookings and programs with us and simultaneously, network and establish new business and programs with new partners,” he said.
Captain Will Rodgers, Director of Large Boat Business for Boston Whalers, who has been leading are annual rendezvous to Bimini and Abaco, is currently finalizing his 15th fling to Bimini and third to Abaco. His 55 boats 300 persons fling, which is open to all type boats size 34-42 feet, will take place June 13-17, 2017 to Resorts World Bimini in Bimini and his 15' Boston Whaler boat fling, by invitation only, will take place July 7-15, 2017 to Abaco Beach and Green Turtle Cay Resort in Abaco.
Captain Rodgers said, “Boston Whaler owners love to visit The Bahamas. The Bahamas’ proximity to the U.S. and it’s easy gulfstream passage coupled with its unique and memorable destination experiences, culture and perfect weather conditions, is an easy sell for whalers. Additionally, these flings build the confidence level these novice boaters need to take this journey on their own, in the future,” he said.
Joe Neber, Owner of Contenders Boats, and one of several boaters with flings to The Bahamas said, he enjoys working with The Bahamas and looks forward to leading his fleet of 50 boats into Bimini, April 28-29, 2017. His boats will range in size from 22 to 40 feet.
David Gauzens, Concession Manager of Adventure Sports believes that “boating opportunities in The Bahamas are endless, especially for recreational and wind sport competitions, and I look forward to exploring many of them,” he said.
David, who will be visiting The Bahamas April 20-24, 2017 as an observer in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament in Grand Bahama will also use the time to conduct logistical work for his planned group’s visit there, when he brings his kite boarding competition to The Bahamas in 2018. Former U.S. President Barak Obama and famed billionaire, Richard Branson, made the free-style competition popular recently.
Sales Executive at Schooner Bay Resort, Luis da Cunha, said he has “seen business at his company jump substantially over the past four years, from their participation in the Miami Boat show.”
“We have seen a 45 percent increase in our home rentals and marina usage as well as new buyer and rental prospects, all generated from registration from these type shows,” he said.
Schooner Bay, located 28 miles south of Marsh Harbour Abaco, is a fairly new 220 acres, 39 private home rental community and marina development in Abaco. Its full service 12-slip marina can accommodate boats up to 100 feet.
“Our participation in this show makes prudent business sense,” says Emanuel Alexiou, Co-owner of the Abaco Beach Resort. “Our placement here guarantees us old business from long-term friends and families, as well as brings us new business. As the largest marina in The Bahamas, with some 200 boat slips and an 86 condo rooms hotel, we can accommodate luxury yachts up to 200 feet,” he said.
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017